Arsenal remain immersed in a sports desert in which doubts and ups and downs are the clear trend in the Gunner area of north London. An almost normalized situation that generates two popular currents in the vicinity of the Emirates Stadium. On the one hand, the new generations that have the recent dynamics as assumed, while there is, on the other hand, the ‘old guard’ of fans who lived what were, most certainly, the best years in the history of the club.
In May 2018, one of the most important changes took place within Arsenal. The considered best coach of his long existence, Arsène Wenger, said goodbye officially after many years in which his departure was the request of a part of the fans. A percentage that was getting bigger and that, finally, would end in a decision that, now, seeing the dynamics of the team, many are already beginning to miss.
Wenger left Arsenal under the speech and social argument that his best years had passed. Many fans longed for the golden times when the London club won the Premier League, when they were a club respected for their sporting results, when they walked through the most prestigious stadiums in European football. From the British identity, seeing the team traveling the old continent, beating some of the most imposing clubs, was a source of full pride. However, those golden years gave way to a football decline, to a degradation of success that would end in an almost regular trend of having to console themselves with qualifications for the Champions League when others (some neighbors, such as Chelsea) were the ones who raised the English heaven titles.
The ‘Wenger era’ came to an end after 22 years (October 1996-May 2018) with the uncertainty of whether it was really the solution or a simple exercise to air the club, catch oxygen in terms of illusion and try to create again a path that will lead them to success. The popular current that asked his goodbye had succeeded. From their gratitude, they celebrated his departure in a way, but what would happen then? Many questions that, to his regret, remain unanswered or explained, almost 3 years later.
So do Arsenal miss Arsène Wenger?
IT WAS WENGER
- 1996/97: third with 67 points.
- 1997/98: champion with 78 points.
- 1998/99: second with 78 points.
- 1999/2000: second with 73 points.
- 2000/01: second with 70 points.
- 2001/02: champion with 87 points.
- 2002/03: second with 78 points.
- 2003/04: champion with 90 points, without losing.
- 2004/05: second with 83 points.
- 2005/06: fourth with 67 points.
- 2006/07: fourth with 68 points.
- 2007/08: third with 83 points.
- 2008/09: fourth with 72 points.
- 2009/10: third with 75 points.
- 2010/11: fourth with 68 points.
- 2011/12: third with 70 points.
- 2012/13: fourth with 73 points.
- 2013/14: fourth with 79 points.
- 2014/15: third with 75 points.
- 2015/16: second with 71 points.
- 2016/17: fifth with 75 points.
First serious alarm. In 2017, for the first time in 20 years, Arsenal were out of the Champions League.
- 2017/18: sixth with 63 points.
Arsène Wenger left office in 2018 signing his worst league record. That sixth position was the worst season in the Premier League for the French coach on the Gunner bench.
THE POST-WENGER ERA
- 2018/19: fifth with 70 points.
- 2019/20: eighth with 56 points.
First time in 23 years they are out of Europe through league classification. They did qualify for the Europa League for being FA Cup champions.
- 2020/21: after 24 rounds, he is tenth with 34 points out of 72 possible.
Since he left in May 2018, several have been the coaches who have passed through the club. After a long Wenger stage, the movement has been an important note with Unai Emery (from May 23, 2018 to November 29, 2019), Freddie Ljunberg (as interim, from November 23, 2019 to December 21, 2019) and Mikel Arteta (from December 22 to the present) as chosen coaches.
They have not returned to the Champions League. It is the harsh reality that they live in the Emirates Stadium. Since 2016 Arsenal have not been among the best teams on the old continent. What seemed like an almost boring routine season after season, year after year, has become a longing that many already look at with a certain tenderness in the north of the English capital.
As if this were not enough, the accent is amplified taking into account the form of his arch enemy, his greatest historical rival. The streak started with Wenger, but since 2016 they haven’t been ahead of Tottenham in the standings. The famous’ St. Totteringham’s Day ‘has not been held since.
They have held titles. They won the FA Cup and the Community Shield in 2020. Even in 2019 they reached the Europa League Final, against Chelsea, but the victory was tinged with ‘blue’ and Unai Emery’s (at that time) could not sign a back to international success.
In sporting terms, they still do not return to the Champions League, they live a worrying irregularity and the future does not look high seeing, firstly, the high domestic competition and, secondly, the poor sensations they have been offering for months. All this means that the figure of Arsène Wenger continues to fly over the day-to-day life of the club.